Blockchain Adoption in Healthcare

PricewaterhouseCoopers has recently published a report stating that just under half of all global healthcare companies are working on blockchain projects.  This includes things like pilot programs, implementation, and development.  Blockchain technology certainly isn’t new, but this level of adoption is.

While blockchain technology is often referenced in the news in relation to cryptocurrency, that is simply one specific use.  In its most basic sense, blockchain refers to an indelible ledger of transactions.  These transactions are validated across a network of other computers and permanently etched into a block of data.  The decentralized and chained nature of the recording helps ensure that each transaction is preserved.

PwC believes that there are six areas of healthcare that can be improved by blockchain thanks to automation and accurate historical reporting. These areas are:

  • Supply chain and inventory management

  • Enrollment and provider data management

  • Back office functions and payments

  • Data collection, exchange and management

  • Risk and regulatory

  • Research and development

With 49 percent of healthcare companies digging into this technology, it’s important that those who haven’t begin to complete their research.  While there’s still time before the technology is adopted on a practical level in healthcare, those who have already started will have a big leg up in terms of interoperability and their data security.

Just because so many companies have jumped on the bandwagon doesn’t necessarily mean it will be an easy task to undertake.  The companies that PwC surveyed responded with some of the barriers that they’re facing in adopting blockchain.  These include expected concerns like cost, interoperability and scalability, but there are also worries about how regulators will view the technology. 

The number one concern voiced, though, was the lack of trust of the potential users.  For a technology that purports itself to be more secure than what exists today, this is an important hurdle to overcome.  It’s understandable why people would be skeptical though, as in a separate question 61 percent of companies said they didn’t have the proper expertise for blockchain projects.  Without the appropriate knowledge within an organization, it’s difficult to create the type of large scale buy-in and trust needed to start such a substantial project.

Extract can’t run your blockchain project, but we can help you get the valuable incoming data from outside documents automatically identified and delivered to your downstream systems securely.  If you’d like to learn more about how we accomplish this, please reach out today.

About the Author: Chris Mack

Chris is a Marketing Manager at Extract with experience in product development, data analysis, and both traditional and digital marketing.  Chris received his bachelor’s degree in English from Bucknell University and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.  A passionate marketer, Chris strives to make complex ideas more accessible to those around him in a compelling way.